The Rio Olympics have ended, after two weeks of spectacular feats highs, and dramatic lows, and it’s now time to draw the line, and see how each country fared. Following the conclusion of the 2016 Olympics, it’s now clear that the great winners of this edition were U.S. women.
Of the 121 medals won by the U.S., women in various sports obtained 61 one of them, compared to the 55 won by men.
The U.S. had the largest Olympics team, with 554 members. Women slightly outnumbered men, 291 to 263. Still, their victories are impressive, and the difference in the number of victories is still higher than the difference between the number of men and women.
This trend of women outpacing men in the Olympics is not new. During the London games, women obtained 58 medals, compared to just 45 obtained by men.
This is a far cry from the 1972 Olympics in Munich, during which during which the women’s teams won just 21 medals, as opposed to men, who won 71. Perhaps it was no coincidence that following that year, this upward trend for women started to emerge, since in 1972, Congress passed a law promoting gender equality in the work place.
With their 121 medals, the United States have topped their previous record of Olympics wins, 110 medals in Beijing, in 2008. Of these 121, 46 were gold, 37 were silver, and 38 were bronze.
Though the U.S. have obtained the most medals in the Rio Olympics competition, other countries have managed equally spectacular results. Great Britain obtained 67 medals in total (of which 26 were gold, and 23 silver), slightly more than in 2012, when they had home advantage.
China obtained the second largest number of medals after the U.S. with 70 medals, 18 silver, and equal numbers gold and bronze. Since the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China has steadily lost some of its momentum, going down from 100 medals in 2008, to 88 in 2012, and now 70.
The U.S. women’s team had some astounding results not just overall, but on an individual level as well. Simone Biles has now officially become the most decorated U.S. gymnast ever, with a record four gold medals. Allyson Felix won 2 gold medals, and one silver, thus becoming the most decorated track athlete of any country.
And last, but not least, Katie Ledecky , who is just 19 years old, won 5 medals, 4 gold and one silver, breaking the 400 meter and 800 meter freestyle records in swimming. The previous records had all been established by U.S. swimmers in Beijing, in 2012.
Overall, it’s safe to say that this edition of the Rio Olympics has been very good for the U.S. team. The women on the team had particularly spectacular results, and Simone Biles proved to be an especially pleasant surprise. As more and more sports for women will be added to the games, we can expect to see the women’s team gain more recognition in the world of sports. The trend will probably spread especially toward games that were traditionally considered the domain of men.
Image Source: Flickr.